Rolling Green Apartment Fire: Emotional Impacts

The consequences of a traumatic fire in the Rolling Green apartment complex, Amherst, MA on January 21, 2013

Turmoil resonates in those effected by the fire in the Rolling Green apartment complex, Amherst, MA on January 21, 2013

The loss of family, a friend, or a loved one can be traumatic, as can the loss of all of one’s worldly possessions. On the surface, the Rolling Green fire resulted in the loss of a beloved community member as well as the displacement of dozens of students and a couple of families. Beneath the surface however, lie equally important effects of the fire.

This fire had the ability to strip away tenants peace of mind and sense of security—two valuable possessions that many of us take for granted each day. When your daily routines are interrupted by an uncontrollable event and you need to begin from scratch, you may find that other symptoms strike, possibly symptoms of grief and trauma.

According to Professor Russell T. Jones of Virginia Tech, signs of trauma manifest different across age groups. For those students affected by the Rolling Green fire, some possible signs they are experiencing trauma include:

  • Unrealistic feelings of guilt
  • Increased level of depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts and behaviors as well as nightmares
  • Males externalizing reactions and expressing emotions through their behavior
  • Females internalizing reactions and possibly isolating themselves, showing signs of depression

Additionally, the fire may have resulted in grief in many affected individuals. According to webmd.com, if an individual was coping with grief, he would likely exhibit, denial, bargaining, depression, anger, and acceptance, respectively. These are important signs to be aware of for friends and families of those affected in order to care best for their loved ones in their time of need.

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